Storytelling strengthens your personal and company brands.
Better stories make you a better person. Stories attract more loyal customers.
Here’s a practical guide on how to become a better storyteller.
I'll cover how to:
- Engage the audience
- Build storytelling habit
- Compose the story
- Enhance the narrative
- Perform the story
Engage the audience
As a storyteller, your goal is to win the audience attention and hold it for long enough.
Make your listeners experience your story. Relate with them.
Be vulnerable to the listener, be sincere.
Base your stories on small "5-second" events. But add deep personal details.
Build storytelling habit
Many people struggle to find the great stories in their lives.
In his book Matthew claims that anyone can develop “storytelling lens”. But it requires hard practice and discipline.
Spend 10 minutes every day to write down your best moments. Matthew calls it "Homework For Life".
10 minutes. Every day.
Compose the story
Great stories are similar to great movies.
Make your story cinematic:
- Begin and end your story in entirely different states of being.
- Get to end slowly. Don’t start with summary.
- Change insignificant events to focus on the core story.
- Add physical location for all events.
Enhance the narrative
Tell your story using simple words, the way you’d tell it on the family dinner.
Use present tense to emphasize important events.
Connect sentences with “but”, “therefore”, but not “and”. They signal the change and add energy to the story.
Don’t overload story with jokes. The goal is to make audience remember the story, not to have fun.
Negative statement works better than positive."I dumb, I ugly" → "I’m not smart, I’m not attractive".
Use 2 words that normally won’t go together:"My grandma is a sadist".
A shorter story is often a better story. Avoid extra events and noise.
Perform the story
When you perform on the stage, meetup or investor pitching — put your listener inside your story.
Being nervous is often beneficial, as people will naturally relate and support you.
Don’t memorize the whole story — memorize scenes. Make sure you know how to open and close well.
Follow these few recommendations to significantly improve your stories.
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